Solen er oppe!

by Don 4/4/2020 10:17:00 AM






The above is a Norwegian toast to the sun that our family has done over the years before going out fishing, skiing, or various family events. 

Today is a perfect day for the salute! The bright sun, without a cloud in the sky, is piercing through all parts of our forest, and waking up the maple trees for what will be our last weekend of the 2020 maple syrup season.. The future forecast predicts weather in the 60's next week- nice to be outside, but easy spoiling of sap with such warm weather.

On March 31st we shattered our previous record of 545 gallons of syrup set 3 seasons ago. We anticipate making another 40-60 gallons of delicious syrup tomorrow, and/or the next day.  We have made the first Dark Robust syrup of the season as the warmer days have encouraged microbial action on the sucrose sugar to break it down to glucose and fructose.  These two sugars caramelize easier and impart not only darker color, but stronger maple flavor.

As I write this note, it is 22° outside, but projected to hit 46° this afternoon.  The flow should be prolific today and tomorrow. We have enjoyed having this hobby during the "Stay at home" period and the cleanup in the sugarbush will consume at least an additional week of activity. 

We hope all remain safe and healthy as we adjust to this "new normal".

For those interested, here is our family's accepted translation of the Norwegian soliloquy:

      The sun is up

The sun is up, it's a clear day

The rooster greets with flapping wing

Up with the banner, all hands to the work,

All together,





Good News from the sugarbush!

by Don 3/28/2020 10:20:00 AM

We can all use some good news these days, so we'll do our part from the sugarbush at Somerskogen. The pandemic isn't affecting the flow of sap, the birds and frogs are making their return and spring sounds, and the ice is retreating off of Whaletail Lake.

We have had a gorgeous week of warm sunny days in the 40' and 50's, which not only delivered superior sap flow, but a bright warm environment to work in.  The snow has melted completely in the woods, replaced with small streams winding a course, down to the lake.

The syrup remains all amber rich with an intense maple flavor and superior taste. We have noticed an increase in the sugar sand deposited on the pans.  Sugar sand, or niter, is a mineral deposit (mostly calcium malate), along with trapped sugar that forms on the bottom and sides of the pans.  We try to keep this under control as this can build up and cause "hot spots", scorching the pan. We have an extra pan so we can place a new one, while we clean the sugar sand off the used pan. Hot water and a little elbow grease goes a long way!

Yesterday we reached a new record of syrup production at Somerskogen! Our previous record of making 545 gallons of delicious maple syrup was in 2018. We are now at 570 gallons of syrup and the season hasn't ended yet!!! We have 1200 taps and our target is 1/2 gallon/tap with our high-vacuum system.

 Weather wise, it looks fairly good for sap flow for much of this next week, and then likely will end.  If we get a night  below freezing that some models predict, we could go a bit longer. The sap still tastes good as it enters the receiving tank low in the woods, and the sugar content has stayed consistent at 2%. 

Soon we'll be bottling this year's maple syrup, so keep us in mind. We're confident you'll be very pleased with the taste of the 2020 maple syrup.

Swimming in Sap!

by Don 3/23/2020 8:27:00 AM

We at Somerskogen wish all of you good health.  We are all in uncharted waters, but trying to maintain one's routine is an effective way to cope with stress and the unknown.

 We have, at times, been so busy in the sugarbush that our minds clear and our hearts lighten from the current events.  In the last 24 hours, we have collected over 2500 gallons of sap from our 1200 taps. This is an Incredible amount! We are turning all the sap into delicious syrup as I write this. Our last 4 barrels have been a very light Golden Delicate grade which we haven't seen in 3 seasons. The crisp nights and only moderate temperatures of 35-40° during the day has preserved the crystal clarity of the sap.

 At the end of a busy day, I sometimes reward myself with a delicious cocktail that I learned from our friends at Spoon and Stable restaurant, called the "Maple Leaf":

       2 oz. Bourbon

      0.5 oz. Somerskogen maple syrup

      0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, short shake hard, strain onto ice, garnish with 1 dash Angostura bitters and a lemon peel expressed.

 Enjoy this delicious cocktail and stay healthy!